This year has been hard on everyone, which means a lot more people will be feeling the holiday blues. Since it’s harder to get together with family and friends, let’s try keep in mind those who might be feeling a little extra lonely this time of year and make an effort to reach out.
The good thing about today’s world is that many of us have the technology to stay connected, even if we are miles away from each other.
Here are some tips to stay connected:
If you are feeling sad from the distance during these unprecedented times. Try the following to stay connected with friends and family virtually.
- Plan a virtual holiday party via Zoom call with family and friends you usually see around the holidays. You can open gifts together, play games, and keep connected while being distant.
- Make a video card with your child and email to family members or friends for the holidays or just because you’re thinking of them.
- Call friends and family you know will be spending the holidays alone.
- Plan virtual activities you can do with family and friends on the days leading up to the holidays. With video chat, you can build gingerbread houses together, make holiday cards, or decorate cookies.
- Stream a movie virtually with friends and family – watch your favorite holiday movies with your loved ones. Try different online resources that synchronize video playback and add a group chat.
Set time aside to connect with those who might be feeling lonely:
Over 40 percent of older adults experience loneliness and isolation on a regular basis. Many look forward to companionship during the holidays, that’s why times like these can be especially difficult for them. Make sure you set aside some time to bring comfort in their lives – even if it’s virtual.
- If you know of any older adults around your neighborhood you could leave a holiday casserole or a plate of food at their doorstep for them to enjoy.
- Plan a phone date with an older friend or relative. Acknowledge their feelings and make them feel supported by listening. offering advice and resources on ways to pass the time while also distancing.
- Make them feel included and be patient. Not many older adults are tech savvy. Teach them how to FaceTime or use Zoom so they can join virtual events with the family.
- Send a card, a letter, an email or a text.
- Check in regularly – 5 minutes can make a big difference and be something to look forward to.
Keeping yourself healthy is not only good for you but also your family:
Don’t abandon healthy habits this holiday season – manage stress and keep healthy.
- Understand that this holiday season is bound to be different and some changes may make it easier for you, and for your family. Now is the time to try new traditions and activities that are fitting with the times.
- Being connected 24/7 can produce stress. Try turning away from your electronics, and set aside 10 minutes to stretch, meditate or listen to soothing music.
In order to keep your family healthy, you have to stay healthy yourself. Try these tips:
- Eat healthy snacks
- Get enough sleep
- Go on social distance walks around your neighborhood
- Don’t go overboard on unhealthy snacks and drinks
- And most importantly – don’t try to please everyone this holiday season. It’s been a hard time for everyone, so just remember it’s okay to not feel 100 percent jolly.
- Find support. If you are feeling overwhelmed it’s okay to talk to a professional about your mental health. They can help you come up with a plan to cope with those feelings.